Treatments for eczema range from the application of topical creams and ointments to light therapy, but this chronic skin disease still remains untreatable for many.
Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease that makes the skin appear red, itchy and uncomfortable, and the condition can be triggered by a number of causes. Some patients are now seeking out alternative treatments that help to reduce the symptoms and make eczema easier to manage.
According to a presentation by dermatologist Peter A. Lio M.D., FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2009, there are now several alternative therapy treatments that are showing promise for even the most severe eczema cases.
Dr. Lio reports that a combination of homeopathy, holistic medicine, acupuncture and dietary supplements may help to control the symptoms and may even improve overall health. However, he also states that many herbal treatments that are being marketed for the treatment of eczema are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and may end up causing even more problems physically, and psychologically, for the patient.
Dr. Lio’s report concludes that some alternative therapies that help to reduce stress may offer benefits to some patients because they reduce the risk of triggering an eczema outbreak. Emotional stress can have a negative effect on those with skin disorders, so alternative health treatments such as acupuncture and hypnosis may help to reduce stress and thereby improve the condition of the skin.
Patients are warned to exercise caution when pursuing alternative treatments for managing their eczema, and to consult with their dermatologist before making any changes to their health and skincare routine. Dr. Lio says that it is still important to continue with the dermatologist-recommended medical regimen, because alternative treatments will not be able to replace clinically-tested medical treatments.